Bullying used to be taken far less seriously. It was seen as a part of growing up that all kids needed to experience. But this kind of tolerance of cruelty means normalizing something which should not be normalized. To help your children, you need to educate them on these three aspects of bullying.
Identify Who They Should Go To
If your children are bullied, they need to report it. Working up the courage to do so can be difficult, but it’s a necessity for stopping bullying. They should talk to an authority figure, like a teacher. This should be done at a time and location where there is privacy. They should trust this person do something about it while also respecting their confidentiality. By speaking out, your children could make a difference not only for themselves but also for other bullied children. Work with them to develop a strategy for addressing bullying. It can take a lot of courage to confront a bully or seek assistance, but it’s truly empowering to accomplish.
Identify if Your Children Might Experience Bullying
There are all kinds of bullying your children can experience, including physical and mental. Boys are more likely than girls to experience physical bullying. Marginalized groups are also targeted. LGBTQ youth experience a higher rate of bullying. If you believe your child has a higher-than-average chance of being bullied, you need to have a discussion with them. Don’t tell them to change anything about them that makes them special. It wouldn’t be fair if your children had to compromise who they were to avoid being bullied. They deserve to hold their heads up high, without fear of retribution.
Let Them Know It’s Not Their Fault
One of the most important things for your children to know about bullying is that it’s never deserved. People can have conflicts with each other, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to treat them with violence or harassment. No form of bullying is ever okay. Your children should never be considered weak from responding negatively to bullying. It takes real courage to speak out against this. You need to make sure they know that you’re rooting for them every step of the way. Tell them they can speak to you at any time.
There’s no easy solution for bullying, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be ignored. The more we see bullying as an issue and not something innocuous, the more we’ll be able to fight against it. Your kids can be informed about the realities of bullying and work on helping their friends and peers in the process.
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